Incomplete applications are the main cause for delays in COVID-19 vaccine authorization for children under age 5; tobacco smoking rates dropped among adults with major depression and/or substance use disorder; scientists found an association between exposure to “forever chemicals" and liver damage.
As reported by The New York Times, the lack of approval for a COVID-19 vaccine for children younger than 5 years is because vaccine manufacturers have not completed their applications for authorization to distribute vaccine doses for this age group. An FDA official stated that the agency will release a schedule this week for outside expert review of vaccines for the 18 million children currently ineligible for vaccination. This update follows the news that 75% of children and more than 60% of adults up to age 49 years have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 in the United States. A decision on the authorization for pediatric use may not be made until June.
A JAMA study found significant reductions in tobacco/cigarette smoking among US adults with major depression, substance use disorder (SUD), or both, between 2006 and 2019. The study reported smoking in the past month dropped by 13.1% for adults with major depression and 8.2% for adults without. Additionally, past-month smoking decreased by 10.9% among adults with SUD and 7.8% among those without. For adults with both major depression and SUD, smoking dropped by 13.7%, the greatest decrease among these groups. According to a National Institutes of Health news release on these results, this decrease in smoking may reflect the reach and success of tobacco use prevention and cessation efforts.
Scientists have found an association between exposure to “forever chemicals,” or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and liver damage, The Hill is reporting. These compounds are found in jet-fuel firefighting foam and industrial waste, but can also be found in many common household products, including cosmetics and nonstick pans. Exposure to PFAS was linked to elevated levels of alanine aminotransferase, a liver enzyme and biomarker for liver damage. The study authors also found a potential association between PFAS exposure and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Past research has connected PFAS exposure tohigh cholesterol, thyroid disease. ulcerative colitis, testicular and kidney cancers, and pregnancy-induced hypertension.